Thursday, August 02, 2012

Jazz this week: GrandMothers of Invention, Chip McNeill Quartet, free outdoor concerts, and more

If you're looking for live jazz or creative music in St. Louis during the dog days of August, the pickings can seem kind of slim.

The city's most prolific not-for-profit presenter, Jazz St. Louis, has completed its summer season at Jazz at the Bistro, which will be dark until September. That's around the same time that other local not-for-profits and universities will resume their concert series. Meanwhile, others that in the recent past have had at least a few summer offerings, such as the Jazz at Holmes series and Nu-Art Series, have been quiet this year.

Even so, there are still some noteworthy shows happening this week, and not even the seemingly endless, stifling heat can impede our fervent desire to tell you about them. So, let's go to the highlights:

Tonight, guitarist Dave Black will be sitting in for Tom Byrne as host of the weekly jam session a the Highway 61 Roadhouse, with bassist Chris Watrous as co-conspirator.

Tomorrow night, pianist/singer Curt Landes leads a quartet at Robbie's House of Jazz, and singer Joe Mancuso fronts a trio at the Cigar Inn.

On Saturday, Farshid Etniko will be playing for brunch at Rue Lafayette. That afternoon, saxophonist Chip McNeill will bring his quartet to Saxquest for a free performance and workshop.

Then on Saturday night, the merry band of former Frank Zappa sidemen and keepers-of-the-flame known as the GrandMothers of Invention (pictured) will perform at the Old Rock House. For more about the GrandMothers and a half-dozen videos from various tour stops this year, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday night, Robbie's has bassist David Troncoso's trio; and the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center has a bill of experimental music performers including TJ Borden, Ypsmael (from the UK), N.N.N. Cook, The Night Grinder, and Epicycle

From the experimental to the traditional, on Sunday tuba player Red Lehr and the St. Louis Rivermen will team up with the Compton Heights Concert Band for a free outdoor concert at Francis Park. (They'll repeat the same program Monday night at Tower Grove Park). Also on Sunday, pianist Pete Ruthenberg will do an early set at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups

Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday, multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris and the L, with guests DJ Alexis & Jingo, will play a free outdoor concert at Benton Park, S. Jefferson Ave. and Arsenal St.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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